OK, some listening notes, comparing STOCK Oppo UDP-205 to STOCK Pioneer UHD LX800.
Format: Redbook CD
Same cabling, preamp, amp and speakers.
The Pioneer compared to the 205, again, both stock, has a greater sense of detail, resolution and refinement. The 205 is slightly warmer and by comparison, just a bit more subdued. It is hard to explain. The Pioneer simply sounds very refined! There is a delicacy and very fine low level detail and resolution with the stock LX800 that I don't hear in the stock 205.
As I proceed with this mod, it will be my goal to absolutely retain this low level detail and refinement. It is the quality that I hear when the noise floor is EXCEPTIONALLY low. It is also not in any way bright or aggressive, which suggests very low jitter and distortion.
The next step will be to study the power supplies and analog stages and also measure the stock noise levels. Now I don't have a Digital module for my Audio Precision, so my measurements will be on my Tek analog scope, studying the low level and high frequency noise artifacts or lack thereof, in the power supplies and analog outs.
This is going to be fun! This may or may not necessarily include tubes. I do see transformer coupling in one or more stages and likely tubes in the analog stage. Honestly though, I am going to treat this like a blank canvas! The LX800 appears to be a well designed piece of digital gear and I want to improve upon it strengths! There are few weaknesses to address, which is uncommon for a piece of gear at this level!
To be clear, I am not sure what U.S. MSRP for the stock Pioneer LX800 will be. I would guess between $1500-$2K, but that is just a guess. I believe the LX500 is about $1K.